Archive for Corona SDK

Let the Appstore Approval Race begin!

UPDATE #1:
Amazon has approved my app for regular Android (not Kindle Fire) on 1/30/2012, 5 days.
UPDATE #2:
Apple approved my app on 2/2/2012, 11 days.
UPDATE #3:
Nook rejected my app because it says it does not accept ads, on 1/31/2012, 6 days :(

I’m making a couple of simple slider puzzles to gain more experience while I work on a bigger Corona project that is just taking too much time, because of Corona related curiousities. This is the second slide puzzle I’ve made, but I’ve noticed one guy has a megaton of these sliders. But it’s okay, mine are a little more fancy and light, where many others seem like a business app.

I’ve submitted at almost the exact same time to Android Market, Amazon Appstore, Nook Apps and Apple Appstore. So who will win the big approval race? First Android has no approval so it already won, next I’m betting Apple, then Amazon, then Nook. Nook won’t even take the APK until they approve the metadata so I’m guessing it will be the longest. Here is my predictions.

1. Android Market – immediate!
2. Apple Appstore – 2 weeks
3. Amazon Appstore – 1 month for Android then 1 week for Kindle Fire
4. Nook Apps – Unknown? But guessing one month.

Will Valentine Slider make it by Valentine’s Day Feb 14th? Will I get rejected? Stay tuned for the next episode!

My Corona SDK amazing bug list.

UPDATE 2/18/12: I’ve played a couple more games on iOS and Angry Birds does an instant flip with no mask. I’m not sure how to do that with Corona. And another game did the instant flip with black mask, I’m not sure what they are using. So it seems it might be normal behavior, even tho it does not look nice, as long as Apple approves it.

I’ve been using Corona SDK for about 3 months and managed to make one simple puzzle app to get the hang of it. Overall I’m happy with the support and the multiple platforms I can target, but I ran into many problems on my first go. I’m coming from the perspective of a Flash developer who is using Corona SDK to make simple 2D games. Here is my list of bugs I’m hoping they fix. I’ve already submitted these bugs for over 3 months, and seeing everyday their fixes involve non-core bugs (fancier stuff like widgets, cam, gps) I think its gonna be a while for us normal folk. It’s surprising that these bugs even exist since they are core to any 2D game engine:

  1. Support native orientation on iOS: When I say native I mean animated rotation of the screen like a normal iOS app. There is a coded fix for this in rotationfix.lua, but what is not supported is rotating physics or masks. So if you use physics or masks, your at a loss. If you don’t use rotationfix.lua your app will look very unprofessional flipping instantly, with a black mask slowly rotating afterwards.
  2. Physics bodies do not rotate with group: Related to the first one. Basically if the body was in a display group, it will not rotate with that group. I keep wondering how other physics games are getting around this, I’m guessing they never need to rotate the group? Link
  3. Masks do not work: Yes amazing but true, masks are extremely buggy, crash the simulator, do not rotate with its display group. And if you get past all that, if you have too many (maybe 10-20) your app will slow to a crawl. I was gearing up to make a jigsaw puzzle type game, but soon found out that even their own jigsaw example no longer worked. So if your game requires masks you are out of luck.
  4. Hit test over irregular shape problems: In Flash you can draw a vector and hide it over an irregular complex shape like a triangle. But doing it in Corona proves to be extremely difficult. There is a mask related hit testable type function, but I believe it is also an actual mask, and because masks do not work, pretty much makes this useless. If you wanted to hit test against a triangle, you can always use the physics engine with a polygon made with a physics 3rd party tool. Again this is something that was simple to do in Flash, now made super difficult.
  5. Need getPixel and setPixel type functions: Not really a bug, but if they made this available I would be able to do so many things. One of which would solve my above problems like making my own hit mask. I guess you can see a pattern in my need for masks :)

Kindle Fire vs iPad First Impressions

Well I got my Kind Fire today. I don’t have much experience dealing with Android because I have an iPad 1, so my review is seen through that prism. The only Android experience I have is a Motorola Cliq that was obsoleted at around 6 months after I bought it, it’s buggy and annoying. I need the Kindle Fire to test out some apps I made, and I enjoy the Amazon bookstore. For the device, I like the style, the rubberized backing, screen looks great. It has no interface buttons except for the power button. Size is pretty nice you can hold both edges with one hand, a good size for reading. Tried the mandatory “Angry Birds” app, which is basically the “Hello World” of app installs. I’ve played with it for about an hour and here are my thoughts, especially compared to iPad 1 or 2.

  1. The Kindle fire is slower than an iPad 1, when you compare the touch responsiveness Android vs IOS, iOS always wins for some reason. Sometimes you have to do a double touch because you believe that what you did before didn’t go through. Scrolling and dragging should be as close to 1-to-1 as possible, so you don’t feel like your lagging in an FPS.

  2. Screen rotation/orientation feels buggy. On an iPad the screen looks like its physically rotating to fix itself, but on Android it just plops on most apps like the browser.

  3. Power button is too close to the other ports. I’ve accidently turned it off while plugging in the USB cord. It’s easily hit.

  4. You NEED a home button on the front just like the iPad! It’s nice that the front is just a screen, it’s minimalist. But when you just want to get the heck out of an app you need that one button that will save you. It’s possible to get stuck in an app if it doesnt reveal that bottom bar.

  5. Browser seems buggy. I went to the Android API docs and couldn’t scroll an iFrame. Pinch zooming was also not 1-to-1 and laggy.

  6. iOS has much better core app suite then Kindle Fire. Calendar, Notes, Contact, Youtube, Photos are just better designed and more useful.

IN CONCLUSION, if this is Kindle Fire vs iPad, iPad definitely wins even the iPad1. If your talking about a nice, inexpensive little tablet with connections to Amazon, then it will do. It will be interesting to see how it grows on everyone, then maybe they can make Kindle 2 more of a power house. Too bad Android is just not primetime yet.

BTW, if you look real close on the upper left corner of your Kindle Fire it looks like a camera, what is that? Hmmmm, one can always hope ….